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Descent cover
Parallax Software
Mac OS (Classic) Interplay Entertainment
Interplay Entertainment
Release dates
DOS March 17, 1995
Windows March 17, 1995
Mac OS (Classic) 1995
Windows (DOSBox) July 22, 2008
macOS (OS X) (DOSBox) October 26, 2012[1]
Linux Source ports only
Descent guide on StrategyWiki
Descent on MobyGames
Descent on Wikipedia
Descent 1995
Descent II 1996
Descent: FreeSpace - The Great War 1998
Descent 3 1999
FreeSpace 2 1999
Descent (upcoming) TBA

Key points

Engine is open source with modern multi-platform ports available. It is highly recommended to use either DXX-Rebirth or D2X-XL.

General information

Official game site Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
Descent source code download page


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
DRM details are not known
Mac OS
DOS version pre-packaged with DOSBox.[2]
macOS (OS X)
Icon overlay.png
DOS version pre-packaged with DOSBox.[3]

Version differences[edit]

The classic Mac OS version was substantially improved during the porting process. It features high-res (640x480 vs DOS's 320x200) menus, backgrounds, fonts & briefing images. It also had studio quality audio tracks. This version would later be used as the base for the PlayStation version, which additionally had intro videos (verses slides) and simple lighting effects. DXX-Rebirth supports the Mac OS data files though Windows users may require these patches.

DLC and expansion packs

The PlayStation version included additional multiplayer maps ("anarchy levels"). Although porting them to the PC would theoretically be simple, no attempt has be made.
Name Notes
Levels of the World
Mac OS
Anniversary's bonus levels (no official name given) Also included with The Definitive Collection
In addition to the add ons above, Interplay had many map making competitions which some players considered to be the game's unofficial 3rd DLC. Although no official compilation has been made, a user on has made one of his own with almost all competition entries included. It can be downloaded here.

Essential improvements[edit]

Source ports[edit]

There are four (five technically) source ports available for Descent. These ports are major upgrades to the game and will improve almost all aspects of the game. Most notably, these ports support Windows, OS X, and Linux natively without the need for DOSBox.
Name Description
DXX-Rebirth Focused mostly on maintaining original gameplay and being authentic. Feature List
macOS (OS X)
D2X-XL Focused mostly on graphical and gameplay improvements. Changelog/Feature List
macOS (OS X)
DXX-Retro Based on DXX-Rebirth. Focused mostly on improving multiplayer. Source & Changelog
macOS (OS X)
Project D2X Very old source port, hasn't been updated in a long time. This project was the base for DXX-Rebirth & XL
macOS (OS X)

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\
Windows <path-to-game>\[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/273570/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\
Windows <path-to-game>\[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 2]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/273570/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
Graphics settings ( version)
Graphics settings ( version)

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Use D1X-Rebirth (D2X-XL has incorrect scaling).
Use D1X-Rebirth (D2X-XL has incorrect scaling).
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Toggle with Alt+ Enter (when using DOSBox).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
60 FPS
Capped at 50 FPS;[4] for 60 FPS see Source ports.
120+ FPS
A source port is required. See Source ports.


In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.


Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
No Audio Dialogue to subtitle.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Can be enabled through DOSBox's priority settings (use the pause emulation option).
Red Book CD audio
Mac OS CD-ROM version only.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
8 Versus, Co-op
Online play
8 Versus, Co-op

Connection types

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native Notes
Native 3D
Use D2X-XL (anaglyph, 3D TV).[5]
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Descent 1 - 2 (DXX-Rebirth) [OpenGL].
Officially supported game trough D2X-XL, see official vorpx game list.
Headsets Native Notes
HTC Vive
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Oculus Rift
Use D2X-XL.[5]
Windows Mixed Reality
This game might be playable with the Revive Compatibility Layer (compatibility list).
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
Traditional controller
See Input settings for details.
Supports: Yaw, Pitch, Roll, X, Y, Z (Descent: D2X-XL).
Play area Native Notes

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
OpenGL 1.0 Requires a source port or official OpenGL patch from interplay. Also is a selectable rendering option in DOSBox.
Requires an official patch from interplay. Also require a fork of DOSBox with Glide support if being played in DOSBox.
Software renderer
Default mode in source ports and only mode without graphics patch from interplay
DOS video modes VGA, SVGA
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
64-bit requires a source port.
macOS (OS X)
Requires a source port.


Middleware Notes
Audio Human Machine Interface (HMI) audio drivers

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 5.0
Processor (CPU) Intel 386 33 MHz
System memory (RAM) 4 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB
Video card (GPU) VGA
Mac OS
Operating system (OS) System 7 (classic)
Processor (CPU) PowerPC 601 90 MHz
System memory (RAM) 8 MB (3 can be virtual memory)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 18 MB
Video card (GPU) 640x480 display with 256 colors
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7, 8 (runs in DOSBox)
Processor (CPU) 1 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 25 MB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 7 compatible
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.6.8 "Snow Leopard" (runs in DOSBox)
Processor (CPU) Intel Core Duo 2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM


  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  2. 2.0 2.1 File/folder structure within the installation folder reflects the path(s) listed for DOS game data.
  3. 3.0 3.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/273570/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (273570) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.